Why buy it?
- Comfortable ergonomics
- Tractable engine
- Retro-esque appeal
Why avoid it?
- Could get peppier performance
- Slightly stiff suspension setup
The introduction of the XSR155 in international markets created quite a stir here in India- at least that is what it seemed on the internet. Its modern-retro styling, the R15’s tried-and-tested engine and a rugged appeal made it enticing as ever. However, what we got was the FZ-X- a motorcycle tailor-made for India.
While the move was disappointing to many, after having ridden the FZ-X as our long-term, the motorcycle in itself was anything but. Now, the Yamaha FZ-X has received a model year update and we spent some time with it to tell you what’s different and if those changes have added any value to the motorcycle.
Not much has changed on the 2023 Yamaha FZ-X when it comes to design. The styling is drawn from the XSR155 and the similarities are evident in its rugged character. You have the fork gaiters, and dual-purpose tyres, the ribbed pattern seat and a boxy fuel tank.
But for 2023, Yamaha has added a new navy blue colour to the FZ-X which makes it look even closer in styling to the XSR range. In combination with the blue are the golden wheels which give the bike a somewhat premium appeal. As for build quality, there's not much to nit-pick here. While the fitment of components and switchgear look sturdy, Yamaha could have made it look more premium than before.
The previous FZX had a decent list of features that put it on par with its rivals. However, for the 2023 model, Yamaha has upped its game by adding a couple of new features to the package. So, you now get LED turn indicators with a smoked cover. These complement the bike's LED DRL and LED projector headlamp.
But the most interesting bit on the 2023 Yamaha FZ-X is the traction control system. This is a feature unheard of in this segment and it is the same system that the R14 V4 and new FZ-S are kitted with. The system works by sporadically cutting off power under 3000rpm to prevent tyre slip under hard acceleration. It works well and would especially be a boon for newer riders. Other than this, the FZ-X comes with a single-channel ABS and an LCD screen which displays vital info like rpm, tachometer, two trip meters and a clock.
Just like most other aspects, no changes have been made to the FZX’s engine. It continues with a 149cc, single-cylinder engine that is tuned for everyday commuting and fuel efficiency.
This 12.2bhp and 13.3Nm producing engine feels refined for the most part. And while this motor feels smooth around 60-70kmph and offers decent mid-range performance upto 6000rpm, it feels stressed post this mark and begins to buzz with vibrations on the pegs and handlebar.
That said, we only managed to hit 105kmph, which for a 150cc motorcycle seems like it is underperforming. In addition to this, the FZ-X does not always offer enough grunt for quick overtakes. It needs some coaxing and a downshift to surge ahead.
But in our short stint with the motorcycle, I was impressed by the level of comfort it offered. Not only is the seat wide and accommodating, it is well-cushioned as well.
You will sit upright with the slightly pulled-back handlebar in front of you and the footpegs right underneath. The wide fuel tank offers great thigh support too. Even the suspension setup felt quite pliant over the numerous broken roads we encountered. Overall, the ride experience is comfortable and stress-free.
Should You Buy It?
So, the FZX is essentially the same as before. Though, with slight value added to its package with the LED indicators and traction control system. These have resulted in a hike of Rs 1000, so the motorcycle now costs Rs 1.37 lakh, ex-showroom. This makes it more premium than the FZ-S which also got similar updates for 2023.
Does it make sense then? Well, if you are looking for a comfortable commuter with looks like a standout from the crowd of options, the FZ-X is a decent motorcycle to buy. Or else, you could look back at the FZ-S or even the FZ25 that costs Rs 13,000 more and comes with better touring abilities and comfort as well. That said, the FZ-X does have a few shortcomings, but these are minor enough to be overlooked for the positives the motorcycle has to offer.
Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi